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In 1989, Japanese police apprehended 27-year-old Tsutomu Miyazaki after he’d attempted to molest a schoolgirl.
Commentators suggested in that room, with so many fictional worlds within easy reach, Miyazaki could not longer distinguish between fantasy and reality.
For many Japanese, otaku meant an increasing number of sullen youth who’d voluntarily taken leave of reality.
Miyazaki’s crimes only exacerbated that negative perception.
Galbraith describes a long-running power politics surrounding the subculture.
"The ‘bad’ otaku shuts off from society, in a room with the objects of consumption, not participating in ‘normal’ forms of social formation," he says.